Director: Woody Allen

88 minutes| U.S.A.| 1973| Colour| 35mm

Sleeper is Metropolis on a banana skin. A health food hypochondriac (Allen) has a routine operation, awakening two centuries later into a totalitarian America. ‘I knew it was too good to be true,’ he wails, ‘I was parked right near the hospital!’ The verbal satire on modern fads and mechanistic futures is matched by sparkling sci-fi slapstick, particularly Allen’s clowning (or cloning) as a domestic robot. ‘What does it feel like to be dead for two hundred years?’ someone asks Allen. ‘It’s like spending a weekend in Beverley Hills.’

Allen: ‘I wanted to make a kind of slapstick-style movie, a visual movie in that sense. The visual jokes in the film are mainly based on the futuristic context. Mostly I found it very easy. Sleeper was a quite inexpensive film. It cost less than three million dollars.’

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